Water Heater Repair Birmingham's Blog

Birmingham Homeowner advice and maintenance tips for water heaters.

Water Heater T&P Valve Test

Motives Why a Hot Water Tank Will Explode

When it comes to having to perform maintenance on ones water heater, it is a reasonably minimal maintenance device. Even so, one essential element of it has to be inspected regularly. Hot Water Heater Repair Birmingham wishes to pass on this safety material concerning ones water heater today.

High temperature if joined with tank corrosion within the storage tank can cause an explosion. When the water temperature is less than 212 degrees Fahrenheit, one shall be secure from an explosion, though there is a associated risk of scalding at that temperature. However, if the water temperature is greater than 212 degrees, water becomes into steam, which will enlarge to 1,700 times the space it occupies as water. This is when an explosion can occur.

Cautionary Indications of a Water Heater Explosion

The leading sign is if one goes to get hot water from a faucet and only steam comes out. Without delay shut off power if one has an electric water heater. If one possesses a gas hot water heater, turn off the gas valve going to the water heater. Next, give us a call to come assess the situation.

Minimizing Potential Water Heater Dangers

The primary upkeep activity having a water heater is to test the pressure relief valve, often known as the T&P valve, on a regular basis. This valve helps regulate the pressure accumulation inside the water storage tank to avert a serious rise in temperature and overpressure.


Be careful, the water discharge out of a T&P valve is often very hot. If you do not feel safe evaluating the valve inform us. In addition, performing any type of fixes to the valve should really be done by a experienced plumbing repair company.

How to Test the T&P Valve

Clear the area close to the overflow pipe and floor drain.

Lift the test handle for roughly 5 seconds or until the water runs clean.

Let go of the handle.

If the T&P valve keeps on running with water, lift the handle up and down quickly to have it reseat itself. One may need to do this a several times. IF it has not been tested for a while, it might be difficult to raise it at first. Avoid using an excessive amount of force, but may need to make use of just a little.

If the T&P valve remains leaking, it ought to be replaced.

Other points to look for are rust on the stem of the valve. If there is any water dripping from the valve stem or from the drain valve.

Looking for more ideas? Check out our other articles right here:

Water Heater Maintenance Infographic

Birmingham Water Heater Maintenance

Related T&P Valve Testing Videos

Mythbusters did a test of the potential dangers of hot water heater explosions here:

Water Heater T&P Valve Repair Birmingham

What the Experts Say

  • The discharge from a T&P valve can be very hot. It is very important that all T&P valves be installed properly with a discharge line piped downward to an adequate drain to avoid property damage and to minimize possible human contact.
    Read more…

Watts Water Technologies

If the temperature in your heater remains high after you turn down the thermostat, the thermostat may be faulty. Consult a professional for repair. Read more…

Home Guides

Pressure relief valves sometime develop a drip when opened for the first time in years. Try opening and closing it a few times to see if it will seat itself. If you have a large leak or the drip doesn’t stop on its own in a day or two, the valve will need to be replaced.  Read more…

Today's Homeowner

Check out some of our other water heater tips in our blog

Eliminating Water Heater Odors in Your Birmingham Home

Birmingham Water Heater Odor Repair

Are you having a dilemma with smelly odors originating from the water coming from your water heater? It could happen from time to time for a couple various reasons. Here is what Water Heater Repair Birmingham advises to do to make sure your water smells considerably better and to remove any terrible taste fast.

Causes for Birmingham Water Heater Smells?

Bacteria entering into the water system is the most common explanation ones water in the home could have smells. If you home uses well water or cities that use wells for the water source, will increase the chance of this happening.

With a water heater temperature setting of 140 degrees or higher will help in reducing the growth of bacteria inside of the water storage tank.

Ways to Eliminate Stinky Water Odors

The following directions describe how to use chlorine bleach to wash a water heater.

The electric or gas leading to the water heater tank needs to first be turned off.

Next, the cold water supply off that leads to the tank needs to be shut off.

Open the hot water faucet of the kitchen sink to enable air to get in the tank.

With a a garden hose hooked up to the storage tank drain valve, drain the water inside the water heater.

Then shut the drain valve once it is empty.

The next step is adding the bleach.
If the hose for the cold water travelling within the storage tank is a flexible hose, unscrew it from the tank. Otherwise, one will likely need to take off the pressure relief valve, which is more involved. For electric water heaters, one of the elements can be removed.

Use a funnel to put bleach into the opening.
Add 5 ounces of bleach for each gallon of the tank capability.
So if you have a 50 gallon water heater, you will need 250 ounces of bleach, or close to 2 gallons.

Reinstall the water line or pressure relief valve.

Fill the tank back up with water again.

Shut the hot water faucet of the kitchen faucet as quickly as all the air is out of the line.

Run all the hot water appliances till the odor of bleach is noticeable. We want to get rid of the microorganisms that are located in the water lines also, not just inside of the water heater.

Keep the water in the tank and water lines without using and hot water for a couple of hours.

Empty the storage tank again and refill it. This time allow it to stay for at least 30 minutes and just as before drain it.

Fill the tank back up. Open all the hot water fixtures and let them run until the scent of bleach is gone.

For gas water heaters, relight the water heater pilot light. For electric water heaters, turn the electricity on once more.

In addition, by replacing the anode rods, or simply the type used can do the trick as the following video shows:

Additionally, by replacing the anode rods, or perhaps the type employed can work as the next video shows:

Odors from Birmingham Water Heater

What the Experts Say

According to Soquel Creek Water District, “The smell is the result of four factors that must all be present for the odor to develop. These factors include:

  • A high concentration of sulfate in the raw water
  • Sulfate reducing bacteria, non-toxic to humans (sulfate is reduced to a sulfide state by the bacteria)
  • Little or no dissolved oxygen in the water
  • Hydrogen (a component of water which may be present due to water conditions reacting with the anode)”  Read more here…

Soquel Creek Water District

How is hydrogen sulfide gas produced in a water heater?

A water heater can provide an ideal environment for the conversion of sulfate to hydrogen sulfide gas. The water heater can produce hydrogen sulfide gas in two ways – creating a warm environment where sulfur bacteria can live, and sustaining a reaction between sulfate in the water and the water heater anode.  Read more…

Minnesota Department of Health

Check out some of our other water heater tips in our blog

Best Water Heater Temperature Level

An element with ones water heater which a good number of Birmingham homeowners has perhaps definitely not considered a lot regarding is the temperature setting. Precisely what is the perfect temperature level for the hot water in ones household? In this post Water Heater Repair Birmingham will talk about the positives and negatives of varied configurations for property owners to decide exactly what will work most effectively for them and their family, for there could be various health disadvantages which should be taken into consideration.

A good number of water heater producers preset the temperature of their hot water heaters to 140 degrees. If you have gotten the heater in your household installed or changed while residing there, this might be precisely what it is presently set at if you haven’t adjusted it. It might be tricky to recognise what precisely the authentic temperature is on various water heater brands for the dial is named as warm, hot, really hot. We are certain it looks like a wonderful advertising characteristic to market water heaters that have the ability to heat water to 1000 degrees, however we will discover that it is really excessive.

In case the temperature dial don’t have degrees written upon it, fill up a glass of hot water from a faucet and put a cooking thermometer inside it and examine the temperature level.

Energy Saving Costs With Birmingham Water Heater Temperature Settings

It happens to be thought that through adjusting the setting from 140 to 120 degrees can preserve between six to ten % of the energy utilized from the water heater. In money, this would allow $6 to $20 each year in cost savings. The U.S. Department of Energy says a temperature setting of 120 is an excellent method to cut back on home energy costs.

If in the end of the article one believes an even lower temperature setting is secure for ones residence, subsequently the cost benefits may well be more than mentioned previously.

Potential Health Risks With Water Heater Temperature Settings

As the infographic beneath reveals, there could be health threats if the hot water temperature is too cool. Legionella bacteria is the possible unsafe factor to take into consideration. It may possibly grow in the temperature spectrum of 68 to 122 degrees. Consequently, if ones water heater is placed less than 122 degrees, there does exist the chance it may grow within ones hot water heater storage tank.

How is Legionella bacteria harmful? A variety of pneumonia may be transferred if someone breathes water that Legionella bacteria has contaminated. This tends to normally occur when inhaling water moisture by a shower. Consuming the water is generally acceptable.

About 8,000 to 18,000 Americans catch this each year states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 5 to 30 % of such incidents result in death. This is not intended to frighten anyone, but just as a valuable suggestion for people that may very well be far more susceptible to getting Legionella Disease.

According to OSHA, “At low levels of contamination, the chance of getting Legionnaires’ disease from a water source is very slight. The problem arises when high concentrations of the organism grow in water systems. Water heaters, cooling towers, and warm, stagnant water can provide ideal conditions for the growth of the organism.”  (read more)Birmingham Water Heater Repair

Motives to Reduce Water Heater Temperatures

One of several motives to never have ones water heater established close to 140 degrees is the hazard of becoming scalded or burned by the water. For Birmingham house owners that have small children or aged adults, this ought to be taken into account. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends a setting of 120 because of factors. There are today bath faucet slip covers that have a LED temperature reading that happen to be helpful as well!

When decreasing the temperature setting, look at the dishwasher manual learn what the lowest water temperature level is for it. Various units require it to be particularly high.

This really is a tricky issue to settle Hot Water Heater Repair Birmingham realizes. We trust the details in this article and the infographic underneath will help instruct our Birmingham neighbors and clients on the preferred water heater temperature discussion.

Hot Water Heater Repair Birmingham

Total Water Heater Maintenance Tasks

Water Heater Repair Birmingham is not about to discuss the unhappy tales concerning water heater maintenance of “awakening to the freezing bath,” here. At the same time, we shall presume that one realizes the straightforward notion of being sure ones water heater is maintained routinely in an effort to receive the most from its expected life. This helps one reduce costs on power costs as well. All of that is smart we understand. Though hot water heaters do not require a lot regarding maintenance (and we are astounded, even though not shocked, by the sheer number of customers we come across who haven’t executed anything to their water heater), following are the responsibilities individuals must keep in mind when it comes to routine maintenance.

How Long Should My Minneapolis Water Heater Last?

The normal gas water heater lasts 8 to 10 years. There are lots of things that could influence the all around life expectancy needless to say, however this is an effective standard. Quite possibly the most important factor that can influence the long life of it is normally mineral deposits. A lot of of the responsibilities in this article should go a long way in assisting to lower the accumulation of mineral deposits in the storage tank of the water heater.

Minneapolis Water Heater Repair PreventionHot Water Heater Repair Birmingham

House owners, even people which don’t feel too handy, can do a whole lot of water heater routine maintenance by themselves. While in most cases, water heaters are safe and sound, it is crucial to note that they actually do work from electric power and/or gas, consequently good safety measures ought to be put into practice. Be sure to employ all these measures as an instructional tutorial, for we’d much rather discuss all these together with you directly. The electrical power to the water heater requires to be switched off ahead of performing any routine maintenance. Ones breaker box ought to have a preferably labeled switch to point out which breaker is the heater’s. With a gas heater, move the gas cutoff counterclockwise to shut off the gas to the heater.

The element of the heater that aids with reducing rusting inside of the water storage tank are the anode rods, or additionally named sacrificial anode rods. Nearly all are manufactured from aluminum or magnesium around a steel wire. In time the external covering of the rods will erode and they really should be replaced when the steel wire is observable. They typically last around 5 years, though that might be reduced if ones water is soft. Ultimately, it is better and less costly to have the anode rods changed, so that one can acquire an extended life from the water heater storage tank. The rods should really be checked out once a year basis.

The follow video does a very good job of demonstrating the method needed with replacing the anode rods:

Not every water heater has dip tubes. They must be examined for deterioration every 6 months. To evaluate it, take it out and evaluate its length to the height of the water heater. It needs to be somewhere around 6″ to 8″ shorter compared with the tank. Whenever it’s smaller than that, or simply reveals clues of breakage or falling apart, it’ll need to get changed.

The big and small flush. Once more, mineral deposits are the prominent reason of water heater malfunctions. Based on the level of quality of water in ones residence will establish exactly how rapidly sediment will establish inside of the storage tank. This sediment can solidify in time, leading to unexpected popping sounds from the storage tank, greatly reduce the effectiveness of the water heater, and perhaps clog up the drain valve. If possible, every 6 months, but at the least every year, empty 1 or 2 gallons of water from the drain valve in the bottom of the hot water heater in a pail or by a hose in a container outside the house. Look to check out the amount of sediment is within the pail after the water settles. If it seems pretty clear, that great! When these kinds of small flushes are carried out 2 times yearly, one may well not need to conduct a big flush as frequently. If the water seems to be very dirty, a full flush ought to be conducted. It is likewise a great occasion to be certain the bottom drain valve of the storage tank is functioning properly and not leaking. Most are normally composed of plastic and in time when they aren’t opened up, they may get stuck or not close up firmly, so opening and closing them in the course of the small flush test is very good.

There can be unique measures one could take while flushing to handle any specific water smells that can appear when hot water comes from faucets within the residence also.

This video demonstrates exactly how and advantages for a water heater flush:

Regarding holiday or temporary residences, one will need to empty the storage tank of all its water in order to avoid any kind of flooding when the household is not being occupied. Clearly, be certain to fill it up while the house is to be resided in once again.

Water pipe inspection. Look to make certain all water piping have no leaks or are impaired at all. This should be straightforward to see when there are any leaks with any piece of the water plumbing or storage tank for it will have water below and/or near the device. Leaking water can result in water damage to areas of ones property, so make certain all seems dry, primarily if the heater can be found within the dwelling and not in a garage.Birmingham Water Heater Repair

T&P valve check up. The T&P valve, referred to as the temperature and pressure relief valve, must be looked at annually. The goal of the T&P valve would be to secure the water heater storage tank from too much pressure, and exploding, not to frighten everyone. The owners handbook must be looked over to make certain the right measures are used but listed here are the common actions. A little water may come out of the valve and it will probably be really hot so be mindful. Raise the handle and let go of it. Have a container available to catch any extra water which may come out. When the handle is lifted, the noise of pressure getting discharged will be noticed. The handle will need to snap back into position. In the event that it won’t give it a try once more. In cases where it will not go back again into position following a number of attempts, it is going to have to be changed. The valve may possibly drip a little water after doing that for a short period of time. If it fails to discontinue dripping after a couple of hours contact us.

There does exist a lot of discussion on what the perfect temperature setting needs to be. The manufacturer pre-programmed setting is commonly 140 degrees, which is indeed warmer than almost all people definitely will ever have to have. 120 degrees is the usual temperature and a number of people also go as far as 100 degrees. We’ll be publishing much more on this matter in the near future, but we propose not going over 120 degrees.

Just For Gas Water HeatersWater Heater Repair Birmingham

The gas venting system requires being checked each 3 months. Verify to ensure all fittings are tight and for obstructions and harm to the vent pipes and also making certain they’re absolutely free of rust and deterioration .. Gas fired hot water heaters vent fumes to the outdoors of the dwelling. If these fumes flow indoors of the household it might be poisonous and a fire threat. Make certain everything combustible or corrosive is faraway from the exhaust ventilation to aid the prevention of fires. Change all loose, broken or corroded areas of vent pipes.

Check out the pilot light to conduct a visual analysis of the way it is working. The pilot light is the element that ignites the gas burner that will heat the water. A clean burning and correctly adjusted pilot light is necessary for your water heater to function at peak efficiency. The color of the flame of the pilot light should really be blue with natural gas heaters or blue/green with just a bit of yellow at the tip with propane heaters. A short flame, a yellow flame, or a flame with a divided flame at the top indicates that a modification is necessary.

Just For Electric Water Heaters

Implementing insulation wraps or covers around the storage tank can certainly help retain a regular temperature inside of the storage tank without the need for as much energy. Moreover, with the heater not needing to perform as often will increase the life span of the heating element due to the fact it will not be put to use as much. Every 3 months roughly, take a look at to be sure the insulation wrap is attached good and hasn’t fallen or shifted on the water storage tank.

Routine evaluation of the heating element is really important and definitely will help cut down on the need for an unexpected repair. We aren’t going to get into the specifics for a total assessment right here, however one will require a voltage/OHM meter to guarantee there does exist a closed electrical circuit. Heating elements will need updating from time to time.

Continue to keep the place close to ones water heater thoroughly clean of dirt. In particular if the water heater can be found in the garage area, be certain to keep the vicinity swept. The cleaner the heater is, the considerably better it is going to work without having the necessity of a water heater repair.

Replace Old Water Heaters With Energy Efficient Ones

Today, most water heaters made possess a fine volume of energy efficiency. In April of 2015, new codes were started in the United States on water heaters. Naturally, the better quality the heater, the longer the life one can get from the device while using appropriate care over time. Don’t wait to phone Hot Water Heater Repair Birmingham to talk about water heater maintenance or simply to help answer any concerns on finding the most proper replacement water heater for ones house or workplace. Brand, model, and size ought to all be considered in the selection process and not simply implement the “bigger the better” saying. With regard to storage tank water heaters, one doesn’t need to be always holding a surplus quantity of heated up water that won’t be used.

Birmingham Water Heater Repair Company Video

We really enjoy the things we do here at Water Heater Repair Birmingham AL and look forward to serving as many of our Birmingham friends and neighbors as possible. We will continue to feature tips on water heater maintenance right here in this blog too.

We wish to share our brand new company summary video to you below.

We are likewise readily available to support you with all other kinds of plumbing repair you might require done. Whether it be a leaking faucet, drain cleaning, toilet repair, or leak detection. We have witnessed pretty much any sort of emergency plumbing and water heater repair predicament you can picture and look forward to making use of our well crafted troubleshooting expertise!

If you are believing it is becoming near requiring a water heater replacement contact us also, for we will do all we can to help support you in that circumstance.